One of the things I dreaded post childbirth was the state of my downstairs department. It’s a pathetic thing to be worried about in the grand scheme of things. Especially if it takes precedence over whether you’ll be a worthy mum and whether or not you can create children that are not psychopathic etc.
But I’ve always been quite proud of my downstairs bits. I’ve had quite a few compliments and definitely no complaints. I worried: would it be obliterated by squeezing a watermelon out of it? I mean, I’d seen a documentary with one of those funny, cool girl presenters who you wish you’d been bezzie mates with at school (Anna Richardson, Dawn O’Porter you know the ones I mean) and I’m pretty sure SOMEONE on there had said SOMETHING like it not being too bad afterwards. I pinned all of hopes on that one opinion. I wanted my vah-jay-jay to be in the exact same state afterwards as it was beforehand.
Well that was a bit naïve wasn’t it?
Throughout my first pregnancy I noticed I was a bit trickily when I was laughing or coughing which was slightly alarming! I had no idea things got “trickily”. But then I was warned that my baby was measuring large and that his head was off the 90th centile I was almost begging for a C-Section! When it was time to have him, I’d had to be induced early at 38 weeks (his head measured 41 weeks at that point!). It meant a long drawn out horrendous process including lots of drugs and forceps. I’d had to have a 2nd degree episiotomy and had a load of stitches. To be fair, I healed with no drama and was back on it at the suggested 6 week mark, much to the delight of my husband. (Did anybody else’s husband get the super horn post birth?) And he was happy enough that not much had changed down there which in turn delighted me too.
Attending regular Zumba classes (yes I really am that cliché) or anytime I got a bad cough I was reminded that things weren’t completely back to normal. I had to be quite careful of a random star jump or unexpected coughing fit.
Soon it was pregnancy number two and things took a much steeper turn for the worse. I carried extra amniotic fluid during the pregnancy and my weight was at an all-time high, which put extra strain on my long suffering bladder. And yet again I had a baby whose head was measuring off the scale! Why me?! That coupled with the fact that during the labour I chose to ignore all the midwives’ suggestions of taking it slowly to push her out. I just squeezed her out in a few very hard pushes meaning that my hoo-ha was like a burst Chesterfield afterwards. It didn’t help that I had a student nurse had to stitch me up whilst being SUPERVISED (that’s got to strike the fear of god into anyone).
Afterwards it became apparent that things were very different. Things inside felt engorged and spongey. And “trickling” became actually just doing some wee on a much more regular basis and with less encouragement. I was gutted! My biggest fear had been realised! My perfect hoo-hoo has left the building!
I did have to go to the doctors and find out that I had a partial prolapsed front vaginal wall (horrendous). I was referred to a physiotherapist and told to download the “Squeezy” app onto my iPhone. But actually 16 months down the line, and a good few stone lighter, things aren’t as bad as I’d feared. You’ll all be thrilled to know that my sex life hasn’t been affected by the physical change in my anatomy and I’ve also got used to being a pant wetter. You just have to learn to be prepared!
It really isn’t the end of the world that things are physically different now. It’s probably a good thing that my main concern post birth has been the health and welfare of my children and not how big the wet patch is on the back of my dress when I get off my bike in the morning. And a bonus for me, being the chronic over sharer that I am, is being able to talk about the state of my vagina with complete strangers.
Motherhood does strange things to people doesn’t it?